Day 16 – All the food around me!

16 Jan

Since moving to NYC, I find myself constantly surrounded by food wherever I go.I don’t even have to go very far to access this food, if more effort was required, like getting on a train or bus, I would have real reasons not to give in. But for now, I just have to stay away from a lot of this because of the calories or expense. I even made a resolution this year to cut our food budget each month – and this means obviously cutting our “eating out” budget. But see how difficult this is for me with the plethora of options around.

To start with we live above a pizzeria. Our building is 200 years old and there is like this empty vent space that runs through the center of the building and our bathroom windows open out into this vent space. So our entire building, the staircase, and especially the bathrooms (gross I know , in a way!) smell of freshly baked yeasty, pizza dough and olive oil! It takes a little while getting used to but the smell is kind of there all the time, now I just don’t notice it much.
This pizzeria isn’t great – like cheap , not so good pizza. So we have ordered from here just once , very early on, like 3 days after moving in and were fairly disgusted with the greasy, yucky, plasticky cheese. So now I no longer feel tempted to eat this pizza.But I do crave to eat pizza in general. Especially on a long , tiring day. We have a lot of food delivery options around us. Another NYC thing – You can get pretty much any cuisine you want delivered to your doorstep. Such a boon on cold, snowy days.
Our favorite pizzeria is this authentic Italian family run store and they make a spicy, vegeterian sauce, that is like to die for.
On top of that , our go-to toppings are jalapenos and pineapple. So its a yummy spicy pizza with a tinge of sweetness.
I can settle for normal chain pizza – Papa Johns is a favorite (rennet free cheese, baby) but the husbadoo insists on this specialty pizza each time and as it works out to be a little more expensive than chain pizza we don’t indulge too often.Just for an occasional treat. Thankfully!
So I make up for my pizza cravings by making pizza form scratch at least once in two weeks with a whole wheat base and everything,Makes me feel a little less guilty.

My next big temptation is Thai food.So being a stickler for no fish sauce in my Thai food,I have cut out a lot of nearby Thai restaurants. We decided after 10 months of trial and error ordering from near by places that , good vegan Thai food was available only if we went downtown. So I obviously started making a lot of Thai at home to compensate for this.
But as luck would have it, we had ignored this one Thai restaurant , right on our block. (I don’t even have to cross a road to get here – like literally 2 minutes door to door!). I randomly rang them up one day when the craving hit and explained our rigid specifications and they understood and delivered two awesome fish sauce-free dishes. So we started ordering from these guys often – their price was rice and quantity very decent too. But last week, I noticed their sanitary rating, which they have to display at the door of the restaurant by law, had changed form “A” to “pending” status. That probably meant, they used some unhygienic means to make the food or messed up somewhere on the sanitary front.So till they get re-rated to A, I am avoiding this place.

A new falafal shop opened right next to this Thai Place. I have been so tempted to go there but been saving it for
a really hungry day with no food in the house. Reviews do say its awesome though and makes a great wrap.It seems fairly inexpensive too, so it might became a favorite once we try it.

Our next big temptation is Burgers and Fries. There are two really good veggie burgers aviailable near us. Both are expensive , apart from the calories. I if have a burger, I have to go all out and order fries.or onion rings! WIth great difficulty, I resist a milkshake on the side too. So, it is a full calorie high when we do eat burgers.
I used to make burgers at home but have off late started disliking my patties and prefer the ones outside.So burgers remain a major temptation for now.

Lets talk Indian food. There is this vegan Indian home style food place near our house. In fact, I pass it 4 times a day to drop and pick up Bandar. They display their day’s menu on the board outside. The subjis are awfully boring – lauki and squash and cabbage, so I feel no temptation at all . Give me very much non-vegan Malai Kofta and Palak Paneer and it’s another story.  But their dessert – OMG ! So tempting! They have a different halwa each day – gajar, wheat and on other days of the week they have jalebis or gulab jamuns!  My mouth waters when i read a sign board saying they have hot jalebis on a cold, snowy day. The only thing that prevents me going in, is the fact that you have to  order a full thali with boring main courses to get one measly jalebi. That’s their policy – I have checked! You can’t just buy half a pound of jalebis! Sigh…but maybe my waistline is thanking me.
Now, above mentioned actually yummy Indian food -Paneer subjis, naans and their like can be ordered at home from other good restaurants that have recently opened near here and will probably arrive in 20 minutes form the point of me picking up the phone to order. Talk about convenience! The husbadoo loves these and I have to use every ounce of will power I have to resist them myself and then convince him that I can cook better (which is a lie!)  and that we need to be healthy for Bandar.

So there you have the situation in a nutshell. I am sure every city has these kind of options at fairly easy access, but if you  are driving around in your car, you don’t sometimes get subjected to the full lure of these places .The smells, the sign boards and so on. Home delivery like this too is a little hard to find, say where we used to live in Texas.
Here I see these every day at close quarters – several times a day and its slightly harder to resist. The worst time is the evening when I have had a long working day and am just pushing Bandar’s stroller home and am yet to visualize and cook dinner. Resisting these options and going home to make a kale smoothie is so freaking hard!

So tell me, how often do you all eat out? How many times a week/month? And what is your go to cuisine?

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12 Responses to “Day 16 – All the food around me!”

  1. srividhya January 16, 2015 at 11:29 pm #

    We have the same issue too. In Bay Area you have these fusion foods, authentic regional Indian cuisine and oh yeah food trucks. Still we haven’t explored all the Indian restaurants in San Jose. I am not including SFO, which is the restaurant city.
    We had to set the limit on budget too… We eat out twice a week, max 3. Not more than that. I use this Mint app for my budgets and it will start scolding me once I exceed the budget. Thats helping us a lot.

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 18, 2015 at 2:28 am #

      San Jose desi food is awesome, needless to say! Food trucks …wow..we love those. Need to get a budget app for android like Mint.

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 18, 2015 at 3:49 am #

      BTW, I am going to take on your food tag. Too interesting to resist!

  2. Bhavani January 17, 2015 at 12:37 am #

    We live in a suburb and we need to plan and drive to get to a Restuarant. Pizza is the only thing which home delivers. So Mon-Thu is a strict nono for eating out. I get rotis made by a Punjabi lade once/twice a week and pick up on my way to Office. So dishing out a side dish, Raitha or some sambar/curry…rasam/curry or one kuttu and Quinoa to replace rice is what i do. I also make Dosa/Idli batter once in 2-3 weeks which lasts for 2 weeks. So eating out is only during weekend that too occassionaly.

    And we generally avoid Indian when eating out. Fav is ofcourse Italian. But we try Thai, Chinese and Mex also only because of the Vegetarian options.

    But I get what you are saying..it is too tempting when you have something so easily available.

    Loving all your posts. Keep it coming:)

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 18, 2015 at 2:32 am #

      Quinoa for rice used to be the norm here too..but off late we have gone to the other end of the spectrum with white rice, instead of brown and are indulging. Reading your comment reminded me I need to get us back on quinoa. We try to aim for mon-thurs home food too.Rotis being picked up reminds me a lot of our life in Austin, sigh!

  3. Kavs January 17, 2015 at 12:59 am #

    Very interesting posts P. You know I have commented here more than I have posted on my own blog in recent months 🙂
    We decided to eat out once a week to give me a break. But I have serious hygiene doubts regarding outside food – a very recent phenomenon. Vegetarian, clean, healthy and tasty food is hard to come by in our town. So we stick to a Papa Gino, Panera bread, chipotle and a bunch of Mediterranean places.

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 18, 2015 at 2:36 am #

      Hehe..the blogging marathon is kicking my butt, Kavs. But I am glad I am getting comments , makes me feel people are actually reading which is nice. Interesting about the hygiene factor – I have become a little more picky than I was before, recently we walked out of a disgusting desi place after being served water, saying Bandar was cranky. In reality the place was fly invested and tables and silverware were not clean!

  4. More than words January 17, 2015 at 1:25 am #

    Wow!! You make me want to move to NYC 😀… But seriously I feel so jealous, western PA is like a dryland in terms of restaurant choices … This is such a meat and potatoes type of place if you know what I mean…. I have been craving authentic thai food for such a long time without getting any luck 😒… Lucky you !!

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 18, 2015 at 2:41 am #

      I know what you mean:) We could very likely move to a similar town somewhere in the near future and I do wonder what we will do for eating out. Some weekends I think we go out to eat because of boredom – its cold, no outdoor activity, have to take into account Bandar’s interest before we head to a museum etc, movie out of question…so food is what it is. Do let me know if you visit NYC for a weekend:) Would love to meet

      • More than words January 19, 2015 at 5:12 am #

        Yes I would love to meet too …

  5. Dil On The Rocks January 17, 2015 at 3:30 am #

    So you are truly living the nyc life. Don’t cook. Trust me. Enjoy while you can. Once you move to places like where we are in, you wont have any option. First of all Indian food quality sucks, no thai without fish sauce type of thing and if not these, there is the 30 mins drive time. So, after we moved to our new home, we are eating in most of the days. Which is good in a way, you know. 🙂

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 18, 2015 at 2:46 am #

      Hehe..I overthink cost, worth, calories etc too much to eat out very often, yaar. Maybe when I was a few years younger, when I didn’t overthink all this and had the inclination to hit the gym – that would have a good time to live in the city. Versus now with a baby. Home cooking is ideal if you can get creative especially. You know exactly what you are putting in your mouth!

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